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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday he will keep pushing to hike the 5 percent consumption tax until all the naysayers in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, including kingpin Ichiro Ozawa, are on the same page with him.

Noda is in a bind. The opposition camp refuses to discuss raising the sales tax as a way to cover snowballing social security costs, even though its main element, the Liberal Democratic Party, has advocated a hike. Core members of the DPJ-led ruling bloc also oppose an increase.

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